>The Prayer of Moses

>When I was a young woman, my view of life was based on what I’d heard from older folks. I thought that it consisted of good times and bad times, but the good times always outweighed the bad. My vague concept was that sickness and grief were merely interludes in the play of life. I was unprepared for consistent and chronic struggles.

It now seems to me that life is characterized by struggle. My recent prayer has been: “Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us.”

This morning I looked for the source of that scripture and found it in Psalm 90, the prayer of Moses: “Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble” (v. 15, NIV).

Psalm 90 is also the source of my prayer when I wake in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep: “Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (vv. 1-2).

And I realized that those words had been lilting through my mind for the last week, since Dave and I participated in a choir practice for an upcoming music festival. When the weather confined us to our home yesterday afternoon, we sat at the piano and practiced the festival songs, singing again those words from Psalm 90.

That same Psalm contains other sections that have often been my prayer, such as “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (v. 12). And, “…establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands” (v. 17).

I need to remind myself that my recent prayer from verse 15 is preceded by these words: “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days” (v. 14).

Yes, the days of this life can rightfully be considered an affliction, but the love of God that never fails enables us to sing for joy and be glad through all of them.

When I was young, I found Psalm 90 depressing and thought that Moses must have been a bit down when he wrote it. But I no longer think it’s depressing; now I think it’s realistic.

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